no. 17: how do we do this again?

are you ready to hang out? y/n

I just now got home after a long late night in the legislature. I am so grateful for the trust of my District 8 constituents, for the platform to do this work that I’m so passionate about, and for my decision 16 hours ago to not wear heels today. What a day.

We are all getting vaccinated (yes, we are - if you haven’t yet, reply to this email and I will make sure this happens for you) and we are getting closer to resuming social commitments and expectations and I have so much anxiety about that. I miss people so much but I am anxious about coming out of this agoraphobia and seeming super socially weird or unintentionally aloof and shy. I feel like I miss my acquaintances - the people I mostly see just at parties or out and about - most of all. It feels like I felt when I was 19 or 20, starting to go to parties, starting to make friends, who will I see, what will we do, who even am I, etc.

There is also something related to this feeling that's about being an elected official up for reelection. This time of year normally I would be having a big reelection kickoff, I'd be fundraising like a beast, I'd be having events and sending newsletters all the time that look like...well-done and serious campaign newsletters, I'd be doing smiley photoshoots, I'd be glad-handing. But I just cannot make myself care to do that. It feels so vulgar after the year we have been through. It's not even who I am - this year changed me. Like how am I going to be peppy and upbeat and act like I am the one who is gonna have all the answers and solve this for everyone??? I only feel serious about the policy work and doing my best here. The rest - the performative stuff - it’s hard to see the point. Do people even want that now?

I came pretty close to running for Congress because I was getting urged to and seeing some good numbers but honestly the Nebraska Legislature is really where I’m needed most. Also can I do something like that at a time like this? I have friends around the country who are running for congress and us senate and some of the emails and texts they're sending are like...feeling extremely fake and deranged. I just cringe.

But what are we supposed to do? How do we run campaigns that inspire and comfort and motivate when everyone is languishing and so burned out? Whether the people want me to go back to the legislature or not, they will let me know. I'll get there by being honest and level-headed about how much effort and energy this work takes. And I don't know if I'll have an opponent but I can tell you confidently already that there is no way they will be prepared or be able to match the level of strategy and commitment that I know this takes. Four years of experience is barely anything but it means a lot in that place.

There are women in Omaha running for office who I am watching and learning from going forward - Sara Kohen, Sarah Johnson, Cammy Watkins, Naomi Hattaway, and of course Jasmine Harris who I believe changed the game and must come back again. I am so impressed with them and how they have shown leadership and resilience at a time that is so challenging. They all have my full endorsement, I need to post something more thoughtful about all of them and I will, but I'll tell you we've got to vote for women. That's the way it gets better.

What else?

  • It’s Taurus Season

  • Astrology is not real it’s just for fun

  • (But sometimes it’s a bit on the nose!!)

  • Me and Alice’s birthday is May 9

  • I will have fully vaccinated people over to my backyard and I will buy a few magnums of champagne

  • Alice will have her first sleepover with her best friend who is from a fully vaccinated household and they are OVER the moon

  • I got glasses. But I got a very inexpensive eye exam via telemedicine and I don’t quite trust it. The glasses I got do help. But I am not used to them so the unfamiliarity makes me question if the prescription is right.

  • I got a tortoise pair that make me feel trendy and a clear pair that make me feel like an architect

More to come. If you know someone who would like this in their inbox, forward it to them and tell your friends to subscribe. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter, too. If you have a question about navigating the system, getting a benefit, or are generally pissed at the government, contact my fed account at Help me pay my rent and validate the work that fulfills me by shopping at 5/9. Get vaccinated, and stay safe!